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- by danceluver Mar 8, '12Can anyone chime in and describe what its like to be a distance student in Vanderbilt's MSN program? Is it difficult to set up clinicals on your own? Do the faculty help you every step of the way if you unable to find preceptors?
I have no idea what it is like to be a distance student and I don't want to be discouraged that i am spending so much money, but i'm having a hard time not only finding preceptors but doing a distance education program. Thanks for the input!
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- Mar 20, '12 by danceluverbump....Also in their program, for FNP do you rotate in different specialties (ob/gyn, pediatrics, internal medicine, fp, specialty, etc) over the course of the semester? Or is it just one preceptor you are matched with the entire time? Can you have the option of rotate with different preceptors? I think this would be better
- Apr 11, '12 by RNSallyanneI tried to answer your private message, but apparently I can't do that. Most of my posts had been before I changed my screen name and am now starting over.
Here is what I posted:
I'm sorry it took me a few days to answer this. Travel expenses will depend on where you live. I am in Kentucky, so it is only a 4 1/2 hour drive for me. Many of my classmates are flying in and pay for flights that can cost up to $500, plus hotels and meals. Hotel rates right now are around $129-$159 a night near campus.
It frustrated me that we had to find our own preceptors as distance students, but I have since learned that a lot of NP schools have their students find preceptors, even locally. It can be very stressful, but in the end, all of us found preceptors. It just takes making a lot of calls or asking other NPs if they know of anyone. The WHNP/ANP program is separated for clinicals. I have had one preceptor for WH (which is the majority of the time) and will have one for ANP.
Are you planning to work while in school? I have been working full time which has been extremely difficult because I am in the hospital as a RN 3 days a week and in clinicals 3 days a week. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but I have a family and had no choice. I will not be able to keep that up in the fall when I do my ANP clinical hours as there are so many to do (the ANP clinical hours are all done in one semester, while the WHNP ones are over 2 1/2).
I absolutely love Vanderbilt and am glad that I made the choice. Each school has it's pros and cons - the good and the bad, but for me this was a great choice. I would be happy to tell you more if you need more information.
- Apr 11, '12 by danceluver@RnSallyanne: I actually got the message and I responded back to your PM Thanks!
- Jul 3, '12 by danceluverbump...anyone else that could speak on the easiness/difficult of being a distance student in Vanderbilt's program? Do you have a choice of staying local of you want?
- Jul 3, '12 by etabor82I can't speak to being a distance student, but I graduate from Vanderbilt's ANP/GNP program in a month and two days (but who is counting?!). I initially had a hard time rationalizing the cost as my son was 7 mos old when I started, and my husband is in a CRNA program here in the Nashville area. I managed to work PRN at my current job, but I have no idea how anyone worked more than part-time (but many did, and props to them!). I will say that I don't think distance students have any disadvantage academically; if you're local you have the option of attending weekly classes but don't have to as they're available live-streamed and archived. Some of my friends in my program are distance students and travel from IN, CT, AL; many people in my class met during the first block and ended up splitting room costs. There is also a place on campus that is somewhat like a dorm where you can stay for blocks if there are available rooms, and it is much cheaper.
I don't feel like my distance friends were at any disadvantage having to find their own preceptors; in fact, sometimes I think that was preferable (as a local student, you may be assigned to a clinical site as far as 2 hrs one-way for a rotation). Vanderbilt is an excellent program, and you can definitely tell that they've been doing it a long time; compared to my husband's CRNA program, it is very structured, the instructors are (for the most part) very personable, and they are helpful and understanding. I am so happy that I decided to do Vanderbilt's program, and I will also say this: it looks wonderful on your CV!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail (erintb at gmail.com!
- Nov 22, '12 by eaduarteI think that if you decided to move to Nashville you could talk to the school and there wouldn't be any problem having you become a local student. I think for the most part things stay relatively the same regarding classes, etc, but if you live in the Nashville area, then you will be set up with a site that Vanderbilt uses that is within like a 2.5 hour drive radius (or something like that). So while living in the Nashville area and being considered a "local" student is helpful in that you don't have to look for a preceptor yourself, you will still most likely have to drive a considerable distance one way to your clinical site. Of course you could have to drive wherever you live depending upon the clinical sites you find, but sometimes distance sites work out to be better (as hinted to above).
I personally had to find my own preceptors (as I was distance) and it was stressful to do, but I cold called places and had relatively good luck. One of my preceptors for my final semester fell through and I had to come up with something quickly, but it happened and it all worked out quite well. I think in regards to finding your own preceptors you just have to be diligent and think ahead and start looking early so that you aren't "as stressed" trying to get it done at last minute. The thing about distance preceptors is that Vanderbilt and the site have a lot of paperwork that must be done first before you can actually go there as a student, so that is part of the process that takes a long time.
Good luck to you!!